Who: Drew Daywalt, prolific horror filmmaker.
What: Five of his favorite horror movies.
Where: Los Angeles.
Latest Project: Directing episodes for MTV’s Death Valley series, which premieres in August.
1. THE HAUNTING (1963) — “Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House comes to dreadful life in one of my favorite haunted house films. I think one of the reasons this film is so effective (like others on the list) is because of what you do not see, rather than what you do. Evil awfulness is hinted at, but never really seen, and some of the unbelievable terror is superbly channeled to us from the screen via the self-doubting inner monologues of main character Eleanor. Watch it at night. With the lights out. And alone in the house.”
2. THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) — “Based on the Richard Matheson novel Hell House — which is, to date, the scariest fucking book I’ve ever read in my life… EVER, and the script for which was penned by Matheson himself — Legend is an admirable execution of a nearly unfilmable horror story. And hey, Roddy McDowell!”3. THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979) — “This one’s on everyone’s list, and for good reason. Even if the ‘true story’ is total bullshit, it makes for a great yarn. And when the the eyes appear in the little girl’s bedroom window, I still piss my pants. Even when I know it’s coming. My goal in my professional life is to tell a haunted house story this good.”
4. THE SHINING (1981) — “The best thing that ever happened to Stephen King’s novel was that Kubrick yoinked it away and reworked it when he was filming it. To date, still one of the greatest haunted house stories ever filmed — is it bad that I watch it like comfort food? There’ve been times when I just watch it on a loop, alone at night. Call me crazy, if you will, but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…”
5. THE CHANGELING (1980) — “While The Shining was sucking up all the press and praise in 1981 as the best horror film ever, the world barely noticed this outstanding piece of horror starring none other than George C. Scott as a composer who, after losing his family in a car accident, moves to a new home, only to find it incredibly haunted. I still get chills when Scott confronts the ghost of the child in his attic. Missed this one? Go rent it right now.”